Sunday, April 18, 2010

CFZ Firefly Survey Likau River 17th April 2010

CFZ Firefly Survey Likau River 17th April 2010
Likau Firefly and Crocodile Night Time Assessment
Observers Name : Sara, Anne, Jolani, Benjamin, Daphne, Joanes and Musa.

Jetty/Berth Location: Similajau Park Jetty. Location: N3 20.903 E113 09.465

Survey River: 3 KM Along Likau River from Park jetty

We meet at Taman Awam at 1:30 pm sharp as promised. Daphne who left her car at my house follow my car and jump into Sara car. Sara is to pump her car tyres as her car air pressure goes below the specific pressure requirement. After pumping her car air pressure we pick up Benjernin who waits at Mosjaya bus-stand.
We set off straight to Similajau National Park at 1:45pm. I make Sara to pass my car as I am more as a follower in any kind of convoy. I stick to car per 10 km rule., rather second 4 seconds behind Sara.
There is no glitches at the road except a Petronas Tanker suddenly pull over at the side of the road, that Sara nearly bump behind it at Kampong Similajau Junction.

We reached Similajau National Park at 3:30 pm. To join us are Denis, Junis, and Anne. We put our camping gear at the boat landing while we get ourselves registered. Not long Junis show up and Denis too. Anne came in later.

After registration we waited for Julai our boat driver and Jolani as the navigator. Joining us are my son Musalfie and his cousin Emil and his friend Wandi.

The sea is a bit rough this morning according to Julai, this will make landing on Golden Beach difficult. For safety reason we decide five per person per trip. The trip will takes around half an hour to 45 minutes depending on wave condition.

10 km tracked by Anne and her gang

Anne, Musalfe, Emil and me decide to go first trip. We went out of Likau River and the wave is not as big as what was expected. We have a good journey to Golden Beach area. We would not land at Golden beach, but rather to an area where the SFC have their base where they do trail maintenance.

A quick breakfast before the track

We landed on the beach with out any problem. I was feeling a bit funny with the softness of the coarse sand. My feet seemed to sink about 6 inches but there is no mud. The coarse sand can be shaken off the feet quite easily. We land our camping gear and other equipment.

It was a funny felling when the boat left us in the beach. The feeling of being left out on a strange island. We scout the area and make up our lighting and make up our tent.

5 km to go

Not long after that the rest came. We decide to make up tent in the high ground as the tide is coming in. Not long after that it already dark. The sky is covered with thin dark cloud. To the south west could see bright horizon where the MLNG is. To the west and slightly north two bright stars are Venus and Mar.

We have a quick packed dinner. Sara, Anne, Junis and Daphne went out to check the Golden beach. I was all along not having a proper tracking shoe, thinking the track is a leisure beach walk. For not having proper footwear I was not allowed to track, because of safety reason.

My son and his friend play at the rocky beach all night. I was left with Julai and Jolani. We talk a lot sharing their experience at Jungle.

We heard a wild civet call at the back of our camp. Then we saw these civet shiny eyes in a tree. We watch the civet for quite sometime. Around 8:30 pm the group came from the night walk. They have not find any animal eyes except for night crawling insects.
Julai and Jolani have to go back because they have another program the next day. The area is too small to fit all our tents. Denis and me decide to put our tent on the beach, knowingly that the tide is coming in. Sara and Ann also decide to lie beside our tent. But they rather sleep under the stars. The rest of the team slept in their tents above the sand area. My son and their friend decide to sleep in the open in the bush.

It was a humid night and I can’t remember when Sara and Anne shouted at us to move up because the tide is coming close to our tent.

As usual I woke up early. I need to clear nature call, as not to get embarrassed by other people in the team. I managed to ease off before the rest woke up.

We have a standing quick breakfast of crackers and bread with cold water. We pack up our tents and put all our gear at one place to be send off boat later. At the advice of Sara, I am not allowed to do the 10 km tracking back to the Park. Anne has made arrangement for a boat pick up for me back to the park. My son and his friend decided to follow me by boat. Anne bring the rest of the gang to have a look at Golden beach and later come back around to see me if I have been pick up.

Anne and the gang came back around 9 am and also the pick up boat came in just as they left. I gave Anne my GPS to track the 10 km track.

We put all our gear into the boat and I requested the boatman to bring us to the coral island “Batu Mndi” just a Kilometer out to sea at the
national park.

We reach the park at 9:30 and bring all our gear at the Chalet. I prepare all my gear to do firefly survey that evening. The last two-person came in from the 10 km walk are Denis and Junis. Not that they are in bad shape, but they stopped many times to do photography. However Denis really hurt his knee during this long walk.

What I heard they encounter two snakes and an owl during this long walk.

I make myself ready early at the national park jetty early. Junis is ready at his truck. When it started to get dark. We set to do the firefly fast night assessment. There is a rainbow toward the South East sky. This indicate it rain in the area we want to do the survey.

buffy fish owl photo from Junis

We assign person to do each job like taking water sample is me, Logging co-ordinate with GPS is Benjamin, Daphne is taking note. Sara and me counting and Anne is taking samples. We also will count crocodile and any other animal or bird occurrence in this survey.

Likau- 1 Two left same species, The one on the right might be different.

Some of us I guest who did not have any experience to do this may have some butterflies in their stomach. The fright of encountering crocodile is really frightening.
The water sample is slightly acidic at pH 6 even at dilution of rainwater. The first Firefly display tree is at WPT 233 amounting about 20 individual. The best display tree is about 100 individuals is at 237 and 241. However when we shaken the tree branch to catch samples the fireflies hidden among the leaves started to activate their light organ. It is known that we could only see a third of the display at any given time. The rest of the fireflies is either dormant or behind our line of sight that we could not see.


Our first crocodile sighting is at wpt 238. The crocodile eyes seemed to be small, but when we come close to look, the crocodile is really big.

We decided to stop our survey when the rain started to fall. As we went back we saw some crocodile and an owl.

We ended our survey at 8pm after completing only 3km of the river.


River Water Property:
Specific gravity 1.008
Water temperature of 26.6° C
Air temperature is 25.5° C.

We set off from the jetty 19:00hrs.

Fieldnotes Sg Likau CFZ Firefly Survey
Date : 17th. April 2010

START Time: 19:00
COMPLETION Time: 20:00


a. Moon
No moon

b. Weather
80% Cloud covered sky, and raining at end of survey.

Relative Humidity: High
Temperature: Warm.
Water temperature 26.6 ° C
Air temperature 25.5 ° C
Water pH : 6(2 readings)
Specific gravity: At jetty 1.008

Wind : No Wind, last part of the survey it rains
No Haze

c. River Condition
Current: Fast moving down, Whitish sediment water.

Boat used: Yamaha 20 hp.
Survey Average Speed 6 Km/hr.
Tide: Low

Summary Observation log:
WPT Time Co-ordinate Side Fauna Remarks
233 18:59 N3 20.875 E113 09.485 Left Firefly 20 individuals
234 19:00 N3 20.851 E113 09.497 Left Firefly 25 individuals
235 19:00 N3 20.841 E113 09.500 Right Firefly 20 individuals
236 19:00 N3 20.836 E113 09.502 Left Firefly 50 individuals
237 19:00 N3 20.830 E113 09.504 Left Firefly 100 individuals
238 19:01 N3 20.788 E113 09.512 Left Crocodile I crocodile
239 19:03 N3 20.748 E113 09.519
240 19:05 N3 20.669 E113 09.522 Right Firefly 10 individuals
241 19:06 N3 20.607 E113 09.509 Left Firefly 100 individuals
242 19:08 N3 20.589 E113 09.499 Left Firefly 15 individuals
243 19:11 N3 20.520 E113 09.469 Right Crocodile I baby crocodile
244 19:13 N3 20.440 E113 09.465 Left Crocodile I crocodile
245 19:16 N3 20.336 E113 09.430 Left Firefly 20 individuals
246 19:20 N3 20.177 E113 09.484 Right Crocodile I crocodile
247 19:28 N3 20.081 E113 09.580 Left Bird 2 Imperial green piegons
248 19:34 N3 19.942 E113 09.682 Right Firefly 10 individuals
249 19:36 N3 19.894 E113 09.722 Right Firefly 25 individuals
250 19:39 N3 19.907 E113 09.835 Right Firefly 10 individuals
251 19:44 N3 19.774 E113 09.905 Left Crocodile 1 crocodile
252 19:46 N3 19.698 E113 09.928 Right Frog 1
253 19:52 N3 19.528 E113 10.054 Left Crocodile 2 crocodiles
254 20:00 N3 19.770 E113 09.899 Left Crocodile I crocodile
255 20:14 N3 20.588 E113 09.496 Left Bird Buffy Fish Owl

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